Latest From California Healthline:
The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, prohibits out-of-network ground ambulance operators from billing patients more than they would pay for in-network rides. It also caps how much the uninsured must pay. (Bernard J. Wolfson, )
Health Care Minimum Wage Expected To Cost $4 Billion In First Year: Three weeks after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 525 into law — giving medical employees at least $25 an hour, including support staff such as cleaners and security guards — his administration has an estimated price tag: $4 billion in the 2024-25 fiscal year alone. Read more from the Los Angeles Times.
Some California Hospitals Struggle In Leapfrog Ranking: Hospitals have made dramatic gains in reducing their infection rates but continue to struggle with improving the patient experience, leading to lower grades for some providers from The Leapfrog Group. Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento dropped from an "A" to a "C," while Memorial Hospital of Gardena went from a "C" to an "F." Read more from Modern Healthcare, Axios, and USA Today.
Below, check out the roundup of California Healthline’s coverage. For today's national health news, read KFF Health News’ Morning Briefing.
More News From Across The State
Becker's Hospital Review:
82% Of California Hospitals Didn't Finish Mandatory Bias Training: DOJ
The vast majority of California hospitals have not fully complied with a California law that requires implicit bias training for all perinatal care providers, according to an October report from the state's Justice Department. On Jan. 1, 2020, the California Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act took effect, requiring implicit bias training for perinatal care providers at covered hospitals, primary care clinics and alternative birth centers. The law also requires providers to complete a refresher training every two years after the initial training, and hospitals to provide implicit bias training to new nursing graduates they hire. (Kayser, 11/3)
Becker's Hospital Review:
California Medical Center Rebrands
Enloe Medical Center, based in Chico, Calif., is rebranding to Enloe Health. Along with the new name, the health system will be getting a new logo and a new tagline, "you belong," according to a Nov. 2 news release from Enloe. (Diaz, 11/3)
Becker's Hospital Review:
146 Hospitals, Systems Ranked By Top Leadership
Thousands of nurses at 146 hospitals and health systems ranked their employers on Glassdoor by their senior leadership team. Researchers analyzed 150,000 Glassdoor reviews to create MIT Sloan Management Review's "Nursing Satisfaction Index," which also measures nurses' thoughts on their workload, compensation and organizational support. Read more about the methodology here. (Twenter, 11/3)
Lookout Local Santa Cruz:
Watsonville Community Hospital Survived Bankruptcy. But Will It Survive The Next Few Years?
In early October, a small crowd mingled under the main entrance portico at Watsonville Community Hospital. Joined by a revolving door of on-the-clock nurses and hospital administrators, the group of local dignitaries, health care executives and political leaders gathered around cocktail tables to sip wine, pick at plates of cheese and fruit, and celebrate the hospital’s first re-birthday — one year since the community rescued Watsonville Community Hospital from closure and transitioned to public ownership. “In Watsonville, everything went right,” state Sen. John Laird told the crowd. Laird had helped secure part of the $65 million in funding for the community to buy the hospital and bring it back from the brink of financial ruin. (Ojeda, 11/6)
Becker's Hospital Review:
California Health System Names Interim CEO
Salinas (Calif.) Valley Health has tapped Allen Radner, MD, as interim CEO. Dr. Radner joined the system's medical staff in 1994, and has served as chief medical officer for the past decade, according to a Nov. 2 news release from the system. In 2019, he was named CEO of Salinas Valley Health Medical Clinic, the systems' network of primary and specialty care clinics. (Kayser, 11/3)
San Diego Union-Tribune:
County To Consider Suing Crisis Pregnancy Centers For Alleged Deceptive Practices
County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer is urging her colleagues to get tough with local crisis pregnancy centers, asking them to consider not just a public education program on their practices but also filing a lawsuit “including but not limited to shutting down such centers.” (Sisson, 11/6)
The Washington Post:
Abortion Debate Is Affecting Access To Drug Used After Miscarriages
Since losing her first pregnancy four months earlier, 32-year-old Lulu has struggled to return to her body’s old rhythms. Lulu, who asked to be identified only by her first name to protect her privacy, bled for six weeks after her miscarriage and hasn’t had a normal menstrual cycle since. Such disruptions aren’t uncommon after miscarriage, which affects roughly 1 in 10 known pregnancies. But for Lulu, they’ve also served as a persistent reminder that she couldn’t access the drug mifepristone — her preferred method of care — to help her body pass the miscarriage. Instead, her doctor prescribed a drug called misoprostol, which on its own is less effective. (Dewey, 11/5)
San Diego Union-Tribune:
New California Law Aims To Create More Middle-Income Housing. Will It Work In San Diego?
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 1287 in mid-October, which allows a developer to build more market-rate units if they include middle-income housing. Based on current area median income, that would be housing set aside for individual San Diegans making $77,200 to $98,100 a year. (Molnar, 11/3)
Sacramento’s X Street Shelter Has Served Nearly 800 People. But Finding Them Housing Is A Bigger Challenge
Sacramento’s X Street homeless shelter opened two years ago this fall, serving the W-X corridor south of downtown, home to one of the city’s largest concentrations of illegal encampments. From the very start, the shelter’s goal was clear: Get people off the streets and connect them with housing. But a review of city data shows that while the shelter is making progress, it’s fallen short of its housing targets. (Nichols, 11/6)
Medicare Moves Ahead With More Price Transparency Requirements For Hospitals
The federal government is moving forward with a spate of proposals that will force hospitals to be better about publishing the prices they charge health insurers and patients. Federal law has required hospitals to post their prices since 2021. Compliance has been dismal, although it has improved since the government increased fines a few years ago. But the pricing information is still tough to find and confusing to interpret. (Herman, 11/3)
CMS Rule May Trigger Consolidation For Home Healthcare
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ threat to claw back billions of dollars in overpayments to home health agencies could trigger more industry consolidation and affect patients' access to care in their homes. CMS announced Wednesday that it would raise Medicare reimbursements to home health companies by 0.8% in 2024–a reversal from a 2.2% payment cut proposed in June. (Eastabrook, 11/3)
Medicare Must Police Algorithms In Medicare Advantage, Dems Say
House Democrats are raising concerns with the Biden administration that Medicare Advantage plans need better oversight, citing recent STAT investigations that found insurance companies are using artificial intelligence and algorithmic software to deny care even when people still need it. (Herman, 11/3)
CMS Rule To Increase Medicare Hospital Outpatient, ASC Payments
Hospital outpatient departments and ambulatory surgical centers will receive 3.1% increases in Medicare reimbursements under a final rule the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published Thursday. These providers are set for larger pay raises next year than under the proposed rule CMS published in July, which would have hiked fees 2.8%. (Young, 11/3)
Johnson Embraces Deficit Fight, Setting Up Battle Over Medicare, Social Security
Democrats and progressive advocacy groups are homing in on Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) past support for steep cuts to entitlements, as the new speaker embraces a deficit commission that could spotlight the issue in the runup to the 2024 election. President Biden called out congressional Republicans during his State of the Union address for wanting to cut the program. While budget experts say Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are unsustainable in their current form, most Republicans acknowledge the political risks of wanting to shrink benefits — but are also opposed to tax increases to bolster the programs. (Weixel, 11/6)
Here’s Why Social Security And Medicare Advocates Fear Mike Johnson’s Speakership
In one of his first moves after being elected House speaker, Mike Johnson promised to form a bipartisan debt commission to tackle what he termed “the greatest threat to our national security.” The announcement sent shivers down the spines of advocates for Social Security and Medicare. That’s because when Johnson chaired the Republican Study Committee a few years ago, the conservative group called for a variety of changes to the entitlement programs that it argued would save them from insolvency. (Luhby, 11/5)
What's The 2023-24 Outlook For Flu, RSV And COVID In CA?
Don’t call it a tripledemic — yet. Influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19 are circulating this fall, but not yet at the rate that worried public health agencies a year ago. As we approach the time of winter when these diseases usually peak, around December to February, experts warn that the patterns can change at any time and advise people to take precautionary measures, such as getting vaccines. (Agrawal, 11/6)
Study: 1 In 7 Americans Have Had Long COVID
A new investigation led by researchers from the University College London and Dartmouth College suggests 14% of Americans had long COVID by the end of 2022. The details of the investigation are published in PLOS One. Moreover, Americans who report having experienced long COVID said they also experienced more anxiety, low mood, and difficulty with memory. (Soucheray, 11/3)
The New York Times:
What The Golden Gate Is (Finally) Doing About Suicides
After years of pressure from victims’ families, the installation of $217 million in steel netting is almost complete. (Branch, 11/5)
The Mercury News:
Judge To San Jose Church: Turkey Bags Of Weed, Piles Of Stashed Cash Not 'Sacrament'
A San Jose church this week lost a lengthy legal battle after claiming police violated its religious rights by raiding its minister’s home and seizing 90 pounds of marijuana, nearly 1,200 cannabis vaping cartridges and more than $155,000. Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled Tuesday in federal court in Oakland that the Sacrament Collective Pentecostal Church, despite its foundational belief in cannabis as a holy sacrament, was still subject to state drugs laws. Hamilton threw out the lawsuit the church filed against Santa Cruz County a month after the 2019 search of the minister’s house in the Santa Cruz Mountains. (Baron, 11/5)